POSTED: Monday, September 10, 2012 - 8:00am
UPDATED: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - 4:02pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — When it comes to people managing money, financial experts are sounding the alarm.
"It's my opinion that we have a national financial illiteracy epidemic," said Trae Bodge of RetailMeNot.com.
Experts say it was a major contributor to the financial crisis.
That's why there's a new push on to get parents to teach their children the virtues of basic finance, and to start while they're very young.
"Children can really start to understand financial concepts, basic financial concepts, as early as kindergarten," said financial expert Farnoosh Torabi.
"And why not lay out coins and teach them the value of each one, and dollars. And as they get to be 5 or 6, open up a savings account for them," Bodge said.
Let them watch as you open the account, and use regular shopping trips to teach the difference between needs, wants and wishes.
"How much do things cost, and not only how much do things cost but what do you have to do to afford things? You have to work," said Torabi.
Financial expert Farnoosh Torabi says as soon as children start school, they start noticing the difference that money makes.
"Keeping up with the joneses doesn't start when you're twenty-five. It starts when you are ten, eight, six. You see things and you want them and you don't understand why you canâ€™t have them," said Torabi.